Stille Nacht! heilige Nacht!

Stille Nacht! heilige Nacht! Joseph Mohr* (1792-1848). The words of this carol were written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr, and set to music in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber*, organist of Arnsdorf. It was first sung on Christmas Eve 1818 in the nearby church at Oberndorf (where Mohr was assistant) to a guitar accompaniment (according to tradition because the organ had broken down). It became popular as a ‘folk carol’ in the Tirol in the 1820s. In 1827, the Renner family, a group of folksingers, toured the United States and introduced the carol there. The four Strasser ‘sisters’ (actually three sisters and their brother) of Zillertal sang the song at the Leipzig fair of 1831, where it was copied by...

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